Recycle/Reuse: Seed Starters from Common Items

Yesterday I shared with you a way that you can make a little garden kit out of juice boxes and a salad container. There are several ways you can start seeds in everyday items. I’ll share a few that I found but overall, just do a Google Images search on “seed starters” and you’ll see several more ideas.


If you are careful when you crack your egg shells, you can start seeds off right inside the shell and then put them into your garden, eggshell and all, after they sprout. I did mine in eggshell halves as I’m going to put them in a “salad bowl” (more to come on that!) as soon as they sprout but you might want to try just breaking off the tops so you can add even more dirt. Just don’t forget to punch a hole in the bottom for drainage. You could carefully use a needle or even a toothpick to do that. You can check out these instructions for eggshell seed starters that will turn into this:

Photo Credit: Instructables

Paper Towel/Toilet Paper Rolls

Several gardening magazines and articles mention how you can use toilet paper rolls to start off seeds. They say they will breakdown in your soil so you should be able to plant them whole, as well. I started saving paper towel rolls, instead, as you can get a minimum of three per roll from them. I labeled my seeds at the very top so if I wanted to, I could just rip off that little area before planting them. You just cut the bottoms into four sections and fold them in to make a small little shaped pot. Make sure they are tucked in good or they’ll pop open when you fill them with dirt. I stood ours up in clean mushroom containers so they could drain and wouldn’t tip over. (see picture at top) I put a small yogurt container in the middle to help keep them balanced, too.


You can keep newspaper and roll them around a bottle to create little seed starters, like they do in this video. I don’t believe this works with the colored ads so you’ll want to just use the regular part of your newspaper to make them.

Everyday Items

As long as an item won’t emit toxic chemicals into your plants, you can practically use anything to start seeds in, as long as there’s a drainage for it. I’ve even seen some plant flowers in things such as old rainboots.

Seeds packets are actually fairly inexpensive. If you look for sales, you can even get the Organic vegetables and flowers for under $1 a packet. Check your local garden stores for Organic Potting Mix and you are all set to start your own little garden. If you have limited space, consider container gardening. You can grow quite a bit in just small containers. There are even varieties of tomatoes and green peppers that are specifically for container gardening. Grow some onions, too, and you’ll have all the fixings for some homemade salsa!

I’m hoping that you’ll try to get a little garden going this year. It can be a fun activity to do with the kids and you might even find it to be a very calming hobby. More to come on gardening ideas later this week!